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  • Writer's pictureEmma Harman

On Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Johnny is not a rich powerful man winning over a weaker less financial female. He is not cashing in on stardom. He is a man speaking up for himself. He is just one of the countless men who have been maligned, destroyed and broken by women who perpetuate their power because if they cry abuse they must be believed. Women who use the power of the courts to perpetuate their abuse and further disempower their victims.

I realise that this is going to be triggering for some. I also know some of you are women who have been the victims of men in your lives. I do not believe that this case undermines female victims. What this case does is highlight that victims come in all shapes and sizes and genders. If you are a victim you should be able to seek justice and recompense. This is what Johnny did.

Gendered stereotypes are damaging for both men and women and unfortunately there are women who disempower men using the stereotype of the powerful older male. Accusations of abuse can be used against men to catastrophic effect. I am sure that we can all name a man in our lives who has experienced this to some degree or other. These men often find it extremely difficult to defend themselves and have in some cases lost everything, including their families to false allegations of abuse.

There is no doubt that the marriage between Johnny and Amber became toxic. It certainly isn’t the way I would want to live. However the court, and certainly the court of public opinion, found that Johnny was defamed by Amber. She was in fact the abuser not the victim. She even taunted him saying he would not be believed, she provoked him and filmed it looking for a reaction, she continued a fight after he sought time out. In the end, he was a man who became a victim of a woman who knew how to manipulate him and how to manipulate public perception. Unlike most men and certainly unlike any male victims I have ever known, he fought back and he won. Well done!

I hope that this trial can be the start of public acknowledgement that gendered stereotypes cut both ways. I say this as a feminist who believes we should be treated equally. In cases like these, we are not. A man who is wrongly accused is as much a victim as a woman who is controlled by her partner. I say this as the mother of sons. I do not want my sons to be the victims of women who purport to love them but then destroy them with their lies. I say this as a partner and as friend of the men in my life. I say this as a citizen who believes in a fair go. If someone is hurting you, regardless of who you are, or who your abuser is, no matter their gender, power, money, influence, social standing etc, you should be able to have your voice heard.

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